Saturday, December 24, 2005

Lifeforce


Polymesoda expansa
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
Maybe I haven't been trudging about the mangroves as often as Otterman or Inertia-is-a-sin recently but for the first time, my attention turned to the bivalve*-strewn mangrove floor. I must have lost my habituation to a forest surrounding or walking aimlessly gave fresh perspective. I found this rich manifestation of life hard to ignore; what an energy rich habitat the mangrove must be. But just like a teeming rainforest, the energy is contained in the ecological cycle of birth and death of its peculiar denizens and once cleared, it gives a few good years of harvest and then lays waste, never to return to its former bio-rich state. Its like the mangroves that are deforested to be made into prawn ponds; surely the single prawn species in the pond cannot measure up to the energy that manifests itself richly in the complex cycles of natural mangroves. Just like how the distribution of grass determines the annual migration of beasts in the African savanna, so too the distribution of mangroves determine the migratory routes of over-wintering birds. Oh yes, in Mandai on Monday, we heard the calls of the egrets that flock the Mandai flats. A bit shrieky but still you'd have the satisfaction of listening to such a primeval call. Better than music delivered in an MP3 player.

Polymesoda expansa (vernacular: Lokan)

Lifeforce


Polymesoda expansa
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
Maybe I haven't been trudging about the mangroves as often as Otterman or Inertia-is-a-sin recently but for the first time, my attention turned to the bivalve*-strewn mangrove floor. I must have lost my habituation to a forest surrounding or walking aimlessly gave fresh perspective. I found this rich manifestation of life hard to ignore; what an energy rich habitat the mangrove must be. But just like a teeming rainforest, the energy is contained in the ecological cycle of birth and death of its peculiar denizens and once cleared, it gives a few good years of harvest and then lays waste, never to return to its former bio-rich state. Its like the mangroves that are deforested to be made into prawn ponds; surely the single prawn species in the pond cannot measure up to the energy that manifests itself richly in the complex cycles of natural mangroves. Just like how the distribution of grass determines the annual migration of beasts in the African savanna, so too the distribution of mangroves determine the migratory routes of over-wintering birds. Oh yes, in Mandai on Monday, we heard the calls of the egrets that flock the Mandai flats. A bit shrieky but still you'd have the satisfaction of listening to such a primeval call. Better than music delivered in an MP3 player.

Polymesoda expansa (vernacular: Lokan)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

sightings


sighting.JPG
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
A simple lunch with wife and kids (ball and chain) at Changi Village turned out to be really quite something and we only managed to reach home at 6pm.

We were walking past some coffeshops at the breezy and leafy Changi village when we spotted Otterman by chance at a kopitiam concentrating on reading some manual before a meeting.

The place is really quite different on a monday afternoon. Its so zen that people like the Otterman pop up, with an hour to spare because his meeting got postponed. Providence.

It just got better and after we parted ways, we walked along the road pavement. The road pavement along Nevatheron is not quite the same on a monday afternoon as well. You also get to spot hornbills.

We somehow managed to find the new boardwalk. It was breezy and this was a day to carpe diem, or gather ye rosebuds. So we sat on a nice wooden bench (courtesy of NParks) and stared out into the open sea.

sightings


sighting.JPG
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
A simple lunch with wife and kids (ball and chain) at Changi Village turned out to be really quite something and we only managed to reach home at 6pm.

We were walking past some coffeshops at the breezy and leafy Changi village when we spotted Otterman by chance at a kopitiam concentrating on reading some manual before a meeting.

The place is really quite different on a monday afternoon. Its so zen that people like the Otterman pop up, with an hour to spare because his meeting got postponed. Providence.

It just got better and after we parted ways, we walked along the road pavement. The road pavement along Nevatheron is not quite the same on a monday afternoon as well. You also get to spot hornbills.

We somehow managed to find the new boardwalk. It was breezy and this was a day to carpe diem, or gather ye rosebuds. So we sat on a nice wooden bench (courtesy of NParks) and stared out into the open sea.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Rage against the machine


butterflies for now
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
"In our highly complex modern conditions, mechanical forces are organised with such efficiency that the materials produced grow far in advance of man's capacity to select and assimilate them to suit his nature and needs. Such an overgrowth, like the rank vegetation of the tropics, creates confinement for man."

The next few sentences are just so finely written and the metaphor of the simple nest was just so stirring. I feel I might be the proverbial pig to which pearls have been cast at, only somehow, this pig seems to appreciate the value of the pearls somewhat. The paragraph below is one of the many pearls that are hidden all over the book only to be discovered by leafing through those pages in Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology, Edited by Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson. Where have you been Poet, I ask.

"The nest is simple. It has an easy relationship with the sky; the cage is complex and costly, it is too much itself, excommunicating whatever lies outside. And modern man is busy building his cage. He is always occupied in adapting himself to its dead angularities, limiting himself to its limitations, and so he becomes a part of it."

This really makes me want to just throw the handphone out of the window. I think, fearfully, of structures, scaffolds onto which this insatiable society has put in place and its really like a matrix unto which we live out our lives and teach our children the ways of such a structure; you must be someone in this world so you can own. You must become a successful consumer; well, its safer that way. Then what is the measure of our success? The car we drive? For this the Poet has another beautiful metaphor of the silkworm and the butterfly.

"The silkworm seems to have cash value credited in its favour somewhere in nature's accounting department, according to the amount of work it performs. But the butterfly is irresponsible. The significance which it may possess had neither weight nor use and is lightly carried on its pair of dancing wings. Perhaps it pleases someone in the heart of the sunlight, the lord of colours, who has nothing to do with account books and has a perfect mastery in the great art of wastefulness.

The poet may be compared to that foolish butterfly."

This reminds me of someone I know and it reminds me of those soul-killing year-end work reviews and somehow, impact factors. For what use is this, some people may ask? Here's Tagore on the pictures he drew.

"The prudent people, the utilitarian people, say: 'What are these, and what use are these? What does the picture stand for?' I say do not bother about what they are. You do not ask the jasmine what is the philosophy of jasminehood, but when you see the jasmine you rejoice in its beauty, and the wonder and satisfaction is that it should be there at all. Creation is art in its most literal meaning, for it is the meaning of reality."

The last paragraph really freed me from a very burdenful debate about the value of science or at least the value of certain sciences over the other; or perhaps more deeply how I really interact with my surroundings. Such is the power of Tagore's phraseology. I felt elated after reading it and read that over and over again; elation in repeat. At last there is no more definition and that scientist has been exorcised, metamorphed into a butterfly to exist, and not to debit into the account books like a "contributing" silkworm.

Rage against the machine


butterflies for now
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
"In our highly complex modern conditions, mechanical forces are organised with such efficiency that the materials produced grow far in advance of man's capacity to select and assimilate them to suit his nature and needs. Such an overgrowth, like the rank vegetation of the tropics, creates confinement for man."

The next few sentences are just so finely written and the metaphor of the simple nest was just so stirring. I feel I might be the proverbial pig to which pearls have been cast at, only somehow, this pig seems to appreciate the value of the pearls somewhat. The paragraph below is one of the many pearls that are hidden all over the book only to be discovered by leafing through those pages in Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology, Edited by Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson. Where have you been Poet, I ask.

"The nest is simple. It has an easy relationship with the sky; the cage is complex and costly, it is too much itself, excommunicating whatever lies outside. And modern man is busy building his cage. He is always occupied in adapting himself to its dead angularities, limiting himself to its limitations, and so he becomes a part of it."

This really makes me want to just throw the handphone out of the window. I think, fearfully, of structures, scaffolds onto which this insatiable society has put in place and its really like a matrix unto which we live out our lives and teach our children the ways of such a structure; you must be someone in this world so you can own. You must become a successful consumer; well, its safer that way. Then what is the measure of our success? The car we drive? For this the Poet has another beautiful metaphor of the silkworm and the butterfly.

"The silkworm seems to have cash value credited in its favour somewhere in nature's accounting department, according to the amount of work it performs. But the butterfly is irresponsible. The significance which it may possess had neither weight nor use and is lightly carried on its pair of dancing wings. Perhaps it pleases someone in the heart of the sunlight, the lord of colours, who has nothing to do with account books and has a perfect mastery in the great art of wastefulness.

The poet may be compared to that foolish butterfly."

This reminds me of someone I know and it reminds me of those soul-killing year-end work reviews and somehow, impact factors. For what use is this, some people may ask? Here's Tagore on the pictures he drew.

"The prudent people, the utilitarian people, say: 'What are these, and what use are these? What does the picture stand for?' I say do not bother about what they are. You do not ask the jasmine what is the philosophy of jasminehood, but when you see the jasmine you rejoice in its beauty, and the wonder and satisfaction is that it should be there at all. Creation is art in its most literal meaning, for it is the meaning of reality."

The last paragraph really freed me from a very burdenful debate about the value of science or at least the value of certain sciences over the other; or perhaps more deeply how I really interact with my surroundings. Such is the power of Tagore's phraseology. I felt elated after reading it and read that over and over again; elation in repeat. At last there is no more definition and that scientist has been exorcised, metamorphed into a butterfly to exist, and not to debit into the account books like a "contributing" silkworm.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Gandhi



A lonely pilgrim spreading the message of peace in East Bengal:



Winston Churchill called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a "half-naked fakir" and in response, Gandhi (or affectionately Bapuji or Ghandiji) said "yes, I am trying to be both". And seriously he was. He was educated as a lawyer and called to the bar in London. He tried in every manner to be a "proper Englishman" and even tried to raise his sons as such. He returned to his hometown in Gujarat and tried to become a successful lawyer but his shy nature made it difficult for him to present cases in court. He finally found his voice in South Africa where here he was sent to mediate a settlement between two Indian businessmen. He was kicked out of a first class seat onto the railway platform because there was "no such thing as an "Indian" lawyer in the South Africa of that time and all Indians were treated as coolies. He started his civil disobedience campaign there to protect the rights of his fellow Indians as rightful citizens of the Empire under one King. His civil disobedience or "satyagraha" was like a science to him which he sought to perfect with each non-violent campaign - this would one day prove a formidable weapon, based on love and truth, against the British Rule in the fight for Indian Independance or Swaraj. He returned to India now garbed in the prison clothes of his fellow satyagrahis and not long after that he would be seen only in a dhoti (of home-spun or khadi), a blanket with a bamboo cane, this was the garment that the starving villagers wore, whose plight came about because their own countrymen where buying cloth from the English mills instead of from the villages of India. Gandhi then began to revive homespinning using the charka or spinning wheel which became the symbol of the fight for Independence. He also made improvements to the spinning wheel. In his ashram, each member had to finish their quotas of thread from the spinning wheel. The most remarkable campaign was the Dandi salt march to repeal the Salt tax and effectively the monopoly the colonists had on salt manufacture. This walk started on the 12th March 1930 from his Satyagraha Ashram and brought them to Dandi at Jalalpur on the 5th April (25 days, 241 miles). The next morning on the 6th April (which was incidentally the day of the anniversary of the Jallianwala massacre), the great soul (Mahatma), broke the salt law by picking up some salt from the beach. Afterall, he announced, the salt came from the Indian ocean and every Indian had the right to make salt for their own use.

I stop here and I feel that any summary or abstract of his life and his achievements in bringing India swaraj without going in-depth into his life and his thoughts and his actions just is not enough to really grasp the propensity of this man. Reading a generalised historical account is like looking at a mountain peak from afar, like tourists admiring scenary, failing to really embark on an adventure climbing the beautiful trails and seeing first hand what beauty lies along each path, taking in the sights and smells and sounds. The story of his life has become like a mountain and each book a path onto which one discovers yet another remarkable aspect, insight. There are numerous writings (and I have only read a small fraction) - by him, about him and around him; each seems to have a different reflection of his life. His life was extraordinary and even Albert Einstein famously remarked "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

It all started when I happened to eye a DVD of "Gandhi" by Richard Attenborough (link) at my parents house. Ben Kingsley was bloody good. After I was swept away by that wonderfully-made epic. I was on Gandhi-mania, I wanted to know more. His simplicity and greatness, paradoxically superimposed, really spoke to my heart. He was like Jesus, Mother Teresa... I went on the net and found the autobiography he wrote "An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth". What an insight! He really potrayed himself simply and the main theme, resounding throughout the text was "truth". I still wonder what this truth really means. (Incidentally, in one morning mass I attended, I had heard "The truth is in your heart"). From Experiments with Truth, I was led to the "Moral basis of vegetarianism". There he argued that to be a vegetarian one had to base it on morality. Some based it on health reasons and thus couldn't stick to such a diet. Control of the palate was a precursor to control of the senses. I recall reading the Ramayana where Rama was approached a rishi and asked politely if he had gained control over his diet. He wrote many other things and he was prolific as a writer, editor and publisher; he believed that some form of publication was necessary to keep a community together. When he tired with one hand, he would write with the other, till his pencil became a stub. It has been just over 6 months from the time I got introduced to the great soul and I must have watched the DVD as many times. I haven't tired of it. From the readings I also learnt that Gandhi fought for the emancipation of women and the equality of status for the untouchables whom he fondly referred to as the Harijans or God's children. His favourite verses of the bible were from the Sermon on the Mount. He read from the Gita, Koran and the Bible during his prayer meetings. The three monkeys seeing no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, he referred to as his Gurus. At the end of his life, his only possessions were his clothes, spectacles, two pairs of sandals, his walking stick, his metal bowl (a memorabilia from one of the prisons he was held in) and a few other things. He truly live his life simply, one based on bramacharya or non-possession. Here was man who truly lived by his principles and those principles were tough ones to live by.

Then I remembered that when I was a teenager, I saw my sister having a rather thick book on Gandhi. It was The Gandhi Reader and I went back to my parents' place and ransacked the bookshelves to find it there waiting, for more than a decade, for my eyes to pour over the book. Besides his autobiography, the compilation also consists of many letters written by him, to him. I found the most beautiful discourse between the Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore whom Gandhi called the Great Sentinel. Tagore was the first Asian to receive a Nobel Laureate for Literature. It was Tagore who first referred to Gandhi as the Mahatma or Great Soul. It is said that Gandhi had regarded Tagore as his moral equal and the two shared a great friendship. They wrote open letters to each other when Gandhi's campaign for swaraj gained speed; Tagore often disagreed and argued against Gandhi's ideologies and/or actions. Especially when Gandhi took up his fasts-unto-death. Tagore remonstrated him eloquently on how he would be able to do more service alive than dead and that his fasts were passive (Gandhi was a fervent advocate of proactiveness) and ran against his philosophy of action. At the time of this I am reading Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology. I guess this is reading around the Great Soul. Reading Gandhi stirs the mind, reading Tagore stirs the soul. I found another exceptionally engrossing book "Freedom at Midnight" by Dominique Lappierre that details the events leading to the Independence of India that, well, took place at midnight. The events are recounted around figures such as Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister), Sadar Vallabhbhai Patel (Deputy Prime Minister), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Prime Minister, Pakistan) and Lord Mountbatten (Last Viceroy). Lappierre weaves the story (with all the well researched facts) so well, that it enraptures the reader. Well there are lots more to write and read about the great Bapu of India. It is really a rich tapestry surrounding the Father of India, India's Independence and all those writings. But this is beginning to read like a thesis. So, has all this reading enriched me, I wonder? At times, it seems like my real education has just begun. Perhaps from the time I was streamed into science in Sec 3, I neglected other spheres of learning. I have consumed much, as a friend has put it, and now I just needed to write this to purge some out. I watched the DVD again a few says back and in a scene where he was talking to his close friend the Reverend Charles Freer, he said, "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth."

Gandhi



A lonely pilgrim spreading the message of peace in East Bengal:



Winston Churchill called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a "half-naked fakir" and in response, Gandhi (or affectionately Bapuji or Ghandiji) said "yes, I am trying to be both". And seriously he was. He was educated as a lawyer and called to the bar in London. He tried in every manner to be a "proper Englishman" and even tried to raise his sons as such. He returned to his hometown in Gujarat and tried to become a successful lawyer but his shy nature made it difficult for him to present cases in court. He finally found his voice in South Africa where here he was sent to mediate a settlement between two Indian businessmen. He was kicked out of a first class seat onto the railway platform because there was "no such thing as an "Indian" lawyer in the South Africa of that time and all Indians were treated as coolies. He started his civil disobedience campaign there to protect the rights of his fellow Indians as rightful citizens of the Empire under one King. His civil disobedience or "satyagraha" was like a science to him which he sought to perfect with each non-violent campaign - this would one day prove a formidable weapon, based on love and truth, against the British Rule in the fight for Indian Independance or Swaraj. He returned to India now garbed in the prison clothes of his fellow satyagrahis and not long after that he would be seen only in a dhoti (of home-spun or khadi), a blanket with a bamboo cane, this was the garment that the starving villagers wore, whose plight came about because their own countrymen where buying cloth from the English mills instead of from the villages of India. Gandhi then began to revive homespinning using the charka or spinning wheel which became the symbol of the fight for Independence. He also made improvements to the spinning wheel. In his ashram, each member had to finish their quotas of thread from the spinning wheel. The most remarkable campaign was the Dandi salt march to repeal the Salt tax and effectively the monopoly the colonists had on salt manufacture. This walk started on the 12th March 1930 from his Satyagraha Ashram and brought them to Dandi at Jalalpur on the 5th April (25 days, 241 miles). The next morning on the 6th April (which was incidentally the day of the anniversary of the Jallianwala massacre), the great soul (Mahatma), broke the salt law by picking up some salt from the beach. Afterall, he announced, the salt came from the Indian ocean and every Indian had the right to make salt for their own use.

I stop here and I feel that any summary or abstract of his life and his achievements in bringing India swaraj without going in-depth into his life and his thoughts and his actions just is not enough to really grasp the propensity of this man. Reading a generalised historical account is like looking at a mountain peak from afar, like tourists admiring scenary, failing to really embark on an adventure climbing the beautiful trails and seeing first hand what beauty lies along each path, taking in the sights and smells and sounds. The story of his life has become like a mountain and each book a path onto which one discovers yet another remarkable aspect, insight. There are numerous writings (and I have only read a small fraction) - by him, about him and around him; each seems to have a different reflection of his life. His life was extraordinary and even Albert Einstein famously remarked "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

It all started when I happened to eye a DVD of "Gandhi" by Richard Attenborough (link) at my parents house. Ben Kingsley was bloody good. After I was swept away by that wonderfully-made epic. I was on Gandhi-mania, I wanted to know more. His simplicity and greatness, paradoxically superimposed, really spoke to my heart. He was like Jesus, Mother Teresa... I went on the net and found the autobiography he wrote "An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth". What an insight! He really potrayed himself simply and the main theme, resounding throughout the text was "truth". I still wonder what this truth really means. (Incidentally, in one morning mass I attended, I had heard "The truth is in your heart"). From Experiments with Truth, I was led to the "Moral basis of vegetarianism". There he argued that to be a vegetarian one had to base it on morality. Some based it on health reasons and thus couldn't stick to such a diet. Control of the palate was a precursor to control of the senses. I recall reading the Ramayana where Rama was approached a rishi and asked politely if he had gained control over his diet. He wrote many other things and he was prolific as a writer, editor and publisher; he believed that some form of publication was necessary to keep a community together. When he tired with one hand, he would write with the other, till his pencil became a stub. It has been just over 6 months from the time I got introduced to the great soul and I must have watched the DVD as many times. I haven't tired of it. From the readings I also learnt that Gandhi fought for the emancipation of women and the equality of status for the untouchables whom he fondly referred to as the Harijans or God's children. His favourite verses of the bible were from the Sermon on the Mount. He read from the Gita, Koran and the Bible during his prayer meetings. The three monkeys seeing no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, he referred to as his Gurus. At the end of his life, his only possessions were his clothes, spectacles, two pairs of sandals, his walking stick, his metal bowl (a memorabilia from one of the prisons he was held in) and a few other things. He truly live his life simply, one based on bramacharya or non-possession. Here was man who truly lived by his principles and those principles were tough ones to live by.

Then I remembered that when I was a teenager, I saw my sister having a rather thick book on Gandhi. It was The Gandhi Reader and I went back to my parents' place and ransacked the bookshelves to find it there waiting, for more than a decade, for my eyes to pour over the book. Besides his autobiography, the compilation also consists of many letters written by him, to him. I found the most beautiful discourse between the Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore whom Gandhi called the Great Sentinel. Tagore was the first Asian to receive a Nobel Laureate for Literature. It was Tagore who first referred to Gandhi as the Mahatma or Great Soul. It is said that Gandhi had regarded Tagore as his moral equal and the two shared a great friendship. They wrote open letters to each other when Gandhi's campaign for swaraj gained speed; Tagore often disagreed and argued against Gandhi's ideologies and/or actions. Especially when Gandhi took up his fasts-unto-death. Tagore remonstrated him eloquently on how he would be able to do more service alive than dead and that his fasts were passive (Gandhi was a fervent advocate of proactiveness) and ran against his philosophy of action. At the time of this I am reading Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology. I guess this is reading around the Great Soul. Reading Gandhi stirs the mind, reading Tagore stirs the soul. I found another exceptionally engrossing book "Freedom at Midnight" by Dominique Lappierre that details the events leading to the Independence of India that, well, took place at midnight. The events are recounted around figures such as Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister), Sadar Vallabhbhai Patel (Deputy Prime Minister), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Prime Minister, Pakistan) and Lord Mountbatten (Last Viceroy). Lappierre weaves the story (with all the well researched facts) so well, that it enraptures the reader. Well there are lots more to write and read about the great Bapu of India. It is really a rich tapestry surrounding the Father of India, India's Independence and all those writings. But this is beginning to read like a thesis. So, has all this reading enriched me, I wonder? At times, it seems like my real education has just begun. Perhaps from the time I was streamed into science in Sec 3, I neglected other spheres of learning. I have consumed much, as a friend has put it, and now I just needed to write this to purge some out. I watched the DVD again a few says back and in a scene where he was talking to his close friend the Reverend Charles Freer, he said, "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth."

Friday, December 09, 2005

shadows


shadows
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
"It is only when the Creator, who abides in the region of light, conceals himself, that we see his Creation...There are seekers of truth that would tear away the screen and go over to the lighted side - that is they want to see the Creator separate from his creation - and nothing can be so empty as the maya [illusion, the material world, physical or phenomenal nature] of their illusion. That is what I felt as I looked at this show [Wayang Kulit]." From Letters from Java 1927 in "Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology, Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson (1997)"

shadows


shadows
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
"It is only when the Creator, who abides in the region of light, conceals himself, that we see his Creation...There are seekers of truth that would tear away the screen and go over to the lighted side - that is they want to see the Creator separate from his creation - and nothing can be so empty as the maya [illusion, the material world, physical or phenomenal nature] of their illusion. That is what I felt as I looked at this show [Wayang Kulit]." From Letters from Java 1927 in "Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology, Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson (1997)"

Streetvendor


Streetvendor.JPG
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
We were in a taxi in Bangkok and Josh and I were staring out into the sidewalk as the taxi ambled forward in the jam. Along one road, this man was cooking. It seemed he was mindfully lost in the motions that he probably carried out daily; the noisy traffic didn't seem to break the tranquility or was it a kind of loneliness that was the moment. Shouldn't he be sitting somewhere at home playing with his grandchildren? Tagore wrote that things shouldn't be fully explained or understood. It was this primal mode of giving our own interpretation that was the real essence of our learning. I could only think how life was really quite amazing staring at the man cooking.

Streetvendor


Streetvendor.JPG
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
We were in a taxi in Bangkok and Josh and I were staring out into the sidewalk as the taxi ambled forward in the jam. Along one road, this man was cooking. It seemed he was mindfully lost in the motions that he probably carried out daily; the noisy traffic didn't seem to break the tranquility or was it a kind of loneliness that was the moment. Shouldn't he be sitting somewhere at home playing with his grandchildren? Tagore wrote that things shouldn't be fully explained or understood. It was this primal mode of giving our own interpretation that was the real essence of our learning. I could only think how life was really quite amazing staring at the man cooking.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Great Sentinel

“I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I had my flight.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

ONe day during high tide...II


yer 'rye
Originally uploaded by lekowala.

The Great Sentinel

“I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I had my flight.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

ONe day during high tide...II


yer 'rye
Originally uploaded by lekowala.

The Great Sentinel

“I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I had my flight.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Great Sentinel

“I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I had my flight.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

The Post Office

“And in 1942, in the Warsaw ghetto, a Polish version [of The Post Office or Dak Ghar by Tagore] was the last play performed in the orphanage of Janusz Korczak.  When asked why he chose the play, he answered that ‘eventually one had to learn to accept serenely the angel of death’. Within a month, he and his children were taken away and gassed.”

Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology
Krishna Dutta and Andrew Rohinson (1997)

The Post Office

“And in 1942, in the Warsaw ghetto, a Polish version [of The Post Office or Dak Ghar by Tagore] was the last play performed in the orphanage of Janusz Korczak.  When asked why he chose the play, he answered that ‘eventually one had to learn to accept serenely the angel of death’. Within a month, he and his children were taken away and gassed.”

Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology
Krishna Dutta and Andrew Rohinson (1997)